Google December 2020 Core Update Rolling Out

Google has just given us an early Christmas present: a new core update. This is the third Google algorithm update of its kind in 2020 following the changes in January and May.

What’s with the change?

Google’s update on the new release came mere hours before it began rolling out.

Google makes changes to the way it improves its search results every day, but the most recent update reflects a more significant, broader change. Such updates are designed to deliver on Google’s mission to present “relevant and authoritative content” to its searchers. 

These broad changes are announced as they tend to produce some very notable effects such as changes to site traffic. So in announcing this update, web developers are not caught off guard. 

What does this mean for my site?

In what has already been a tough year, Google has piled on that little extra work for webmasters who have been working hard to improve their rankings. It’s difficult to gauge right now what will happen. There will be a noticeable impact and it will take longer for some sites to see this than others.

Google itself says that previously under-rewarded pages may find themselves performing better. Pages that were always following SEO best practices but struggling to rank well are up for reassessment – giving them an opportunity to boost their rankings.

Likewise, sites that have not been making an effort with optimising their content may see this reflected in how well they rank.

What can I do?

Just like most people, SEOs and web developers do not like change. The replies to the Google core update Twitter announcement are full of users expressing their concern . But there’s no need to panic – for now anyway. The process of the rollout can take weeks.

Google doesn’t go into specifics about what changes are included in the core update. Luckily they do provide guidance on what you should know about Google core updates to avoid suffering any adverse effects.

It’s worth keeping an eye on your Google Analytics to see if, and how, your website has been affected by the update. Your pages may move up and down the rankings while the update is rolling out without doing anything. If your site has been negatively impacted by the Google core update, don’t think of it as game over. Following Google’s advice on core updates gives you a fighting chance of seeing improvements before the next core update comes around.

Summary

This Google core update is going to cause slight disruption to the SERPs over the coming weeks. What it demonstrates is that SEOs have to always be proactive and be prepared to adapt.

At the end of the day, if you’re not willing to embrace change your rankings are going to suffer eventually – regardless of how well you may be performing at the moment.

Were you caught off guard by the new core update? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or tweet us @TeamTillison.

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